Gulfside Healthcare Services’ healthcare workers care for the majority of their patients at home. Because workers are not always in the same setting (or in a controlled environment), enforcing and monitoring proper hand hygiene practices can be challenging. To overcome barriers related to the collection of good data that accurately measured healthcare workers’ hand hygiene practices, Gulfside conducted a pilot study testing the SafeHaven Personal Hand Hygiene System – a portable sanitizer device that cleans hands, measures hygiene events, and encourages performance through positive reinforcement. The device, which can clip onto each staff member’s waistband, sets achievable hourly goals and prompts the user with reminders to clean their hands. Hand hygiene events are recorded by the device and data is then displayed on a dashboard, allowing each staff member to see where they are in terms of hand hygiene compliance. Before launching the pilot, staff completed a survey measuring their feelings towards hand hygiene practices and monitoring and were also given the opportunity to choose the color of their portable device, allowing a certain level of personalization. As part of the pilot study, staff were also trained on the fundamentals of hand hygiene and given tips to help them reach their hand-cleaning goal. The pilot was conducted in three phases in order to assess how the system performed in different settings – patient homes, assisted living facilities, and Gulfside’s in-patient unit. Hand-cleaning goal rates specific to each setting and healthcare workers’ roles were set at the beginning of each phase. Prior to implementation, Gulfside was able to collect data on 60 hand-cleaning events per month. Over the 9-week pilot study, over 21,000 hand hygiene events were recorded, allowing for a more accurate evaluation of hand hygiene practices.
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